Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:37 UTC
Editorial Earlier this week, we ran a story on GoboLinux, and the distribution's effort to replace the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard with a more pleasant, human-readable, and logical design. A lot of people liked the idea of modernising/replacing the FHS, but just as many people were against doing so. Valid arguments were presented both ways, but in this article, I would like to focus on a common sentiment that came forward in that discussion: normal users shouldn't see the FHS, and advanced users are smart enough to figure out how the FHS works.
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RE: One simple question
by de_wizze on Sun 24th Aug 2008 17:46 UTC in reply to "One simple question"
de_wizze
Member since:
2005-10-31

Then again to guess at one possible answer to that question, I seem to recall what I learned about Plan 9. In their papers about namespaces and from what I was told the reasone why they shifted to a namespace rich architectual design were portability, scalability and predictability.

"The view of the system is built upon three principles. First, resources are named and accessed like files in a hierarchical file system. Second, there is a standard protocol, called 9P, for accessing these resources. Third, the disjoint hierarchies provided by different services are joined together into a single private hierarchical file name space. The unusual properties of Plan 9 stem from the consistent, aggressive application of these principles."

"The client's local name space provides a way to customize the user's view of the network. The services available in the network all export file hierarchies. Those important to the user are gathered together into a custom name space; those of no immediate interest are ignored. This is a different style of use from the idea of a `uniform global name space'. In Plan 9, there are known names for services and uniform names for files exported by those services, but the view is entirely local. As an analogy, consider the difference between the phrase `my house' and the precise address of the speaker's home. The latter may be used by anyone but the former is easier to say and makes sense when spoken. It also changes meaning depending on who says it, yet that does not cause confusion. Similarly, in Plan 9 the name /dev/cons always refers to the user's terminal and /bin/date the correct version of the date command to run, but which files those names represent depends on circumstances such as the architecture of the machine executing date. Plan 9, then, has local name spaces that obey globally understood conventions; it is the conventions that guarantee sane behavior in the presence of local names."

The above two paragraphs were taken from an article on the Plan 9 website which didn't seem to be reachable at the time of this post (I had a copy just laying around though)

You can always check Wikipedia for Plan 9 ... the point is that with well established conventions and the concept of Union directorys and localized namespaces they seem to have a solution that could address they currently debated issues of FHS.

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